How Does 15th Night Partner With Local Schools?

August 15, 2021

From the beginning, 15th Night has set out to create a community movement to address youth homelessness. We started by forming the Youth Action Council, recruiting a network of more than 60 partner organizations, creating technology to provide real time access to resources and services via the Rapid Access Network, and engaging community members as Community Responder Volunteers. But, there was still something missing.

The solution to creating a community movement was to scale down the 15th Night model and bring it to school based communities at each of the local high schools in order to fully engage more of the community in this effort. The 15th Night School Mobilization Model (SMM) is designed to help ALL students connect to their school’s resources and services.
The process of bringing the 15th Night model to the schools looks the same as it does in the larger Lane County community. The first step is to involve students to help us better understand how they want to be supported by their schools. Next, all staff are trained to use the school’s Rapid Access Network in order to help connect their students to resources in their building in real time. Then we recruit Community Responder volunteers to fill the gaps if a student’s need cannot be met by the school’s existing resources.

The SMM is a huge part of the work that 15th Night is doing to help prevent youth from ever spending a night on the street. The way we see it, if we can keep youth connected to their school communities and remove barriers to them accessing the services and resources that they need to thrive, we can start to reduce the number of young people who might have gone on to experience chronic homelessness. In order to do this, we need to engage our community as a whole, including each of the school communities. As they say, it takes a village.

United Way of Lane County has made a three year funding commitment to help develop and expand the 15th Night School Mobilization Model. The model was first piloted at South Eugene High School in 2018, and is now active at Willamette and Sheldon High Schools as well. This year we are expanding to Churchill, North Eugene, ECCO, Springfield, and Thurston High Schools.

If you would like to learn more about the 15th Night’s School Mobilization Model, or to find ways that you can get involved, please contact